11 - 19
June 2021
0 Jennifer O'neill (PUR), Argentina v Puerto Rico
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O'Neil, Henderson, Pellington, Paixao led FIBA Women's AmeriCup Day 2 action

SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico) - Similar to day one of the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup, the best teams – United States, Canada and Brazil -- dominated their opponents and proved why they are the favorites to advance to the bracket and beyond.

There was one major surprise, though, that made Saturday the official beginning of the 2021 event from Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Canada 101 – US Virgin Islands 41

Coming off their second-place finish in the 2019 AmeriCup, Canada flexed their muscles in their opener in Group A. The country used a balanced attack on offense that featured six players who scored in double figures, including three off the bench. Shaina Pellington led the way with 16 points on a highly efficient 4-of-5 shooting, while Jamie Scott and Nirra Fields added 14 apiece to help Canada score over the century mark.

Meanwhile, Canada’s defense was terrific in its own right. They limited the Virgin Islands to 27% shooting from the floor and forced 20 turnovers with pressure and intensity.

Most importantly, Canada never trailed. They overwhelmed their opponent from the start with experience, chemistry and impressive offensive flow, and their depth and talent was just on another level compared to the Virgin Islands.

As the favorite in Group A, Canada will look to continue their success vs. Brazil on Sunday (15:10 local time). On the flip side, the US Virgin Islands is now 0-2 after losing to both Colombia and Canada. They will have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball if they want to have a chance to be competitive moving forward.


Brazil 79 – Colombia 56

After scoring 118 on Friday, Brazil (2-0) continued their impressive showing in Group A as they throttled Colombia (1-1) in the second half. Guard Taina Paixao led the squad with 17 points on 50% shooting, while Brazil also dominated the transition attack with 14 more points than Colombia on the break.

However, it wasn’t all positive for the Brazilian side. They struggled to contain Manuela Rios (18 points) and actually trailed at halftime by one after losing the second quarter, 20-11. While it didn’t look like two games in two days was any sort of an issue, their relaxation for one quarter won’t fly if they want to overtake the heavyweight, Canada.

Ultimately, Colombia, which won their first game of the AmeriCup on Friday, just didn’t have the firepower offensively to match their opponent. It was a valiant effort, but Rios will need more help if Colombia is going to make any sort of noise from here on out.


United States 102 – Dominican Republic 39

It’s pretty clear who the team to beat is in the AmeriCup, especially after watching the United States run through the Dominican Republic (0-2) in their Group B opener.

After being tied with less than five minutes remaining in the opening period, the three-time Women’s AmeriCup winner – including most recently in 2019 – never surrendered their lead, obliterating the Dominican Republic in the second and third quarters. DR scored a total of eight points in those 20 minutes and had no answers for the USA’s scheme and athleticism defensively.

It will be very difficult for any team in this tournament to match the United States’ talent, depth and skill, as they possess numerous different players who can step up and lead the offense at any time. On Saturday, it was the Destanni Mone Henderson show as the former South Carolina talent scored 17 points and dished out five assists to one turnover.
DR had just one player score in double figures – Elemy Cardidad Colome – and attempted just five 3’s and six free throws all game.


Puerto Rico 79 – Argentina 56

With Argentina (1-1) ranked 28 in the FIBA rankings and Puerto Rico (2-0) ranked 33, this Group B matchup was easily the most surprising result of the day. It wasn’t PR’s victory that was shocking, rather the way in which they dominated Argentina and forced themselves into the conversation as the potential second-best team in the group.

Jennifer O’Neill was unstoppable for Puerto Rico, dropping 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting while dishing out five assists, grabbing four rebounds and snagging five steals. She impacted the game in multiple different facets, only committed one turnover in the process and her defensive energy helped Puerto Rico score 31 points off turnovers and 20 points in transition.
Ultimately, she was the difference in the game as Argentina was blitzed and couldn’t keep up with PR’s speed and athleticism. It turns out that home court advantage shouldn’t be overlooked, especially on the biggest of stages.